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Slava Grigoryan guitar | Sharon Grigoryan cello
Australia’s favourite musical couple, Slava and Sharon Grigoryan, invite you to their place and to hear them play their favourite pieces of music for you.
In their very first album together as a duo, Slava and Sharon play the music that means the most to them – from the first serious piece that Sharon ever played as a student and pieces composed by Slava’s guitar heroes, to pieces written specifically for them by friends and family.
“We have now been playing together for five years,” Slava and Sharon write, “And have always known that we wanted to record together. So by the time we scheduled the recording sessions for this album, we had already been talking about it for a few years, and every piece here has been thought about, and tried and played, put on the shelf and come back to.
“Every piece on this album holds a special place in our hearts for different reasons: Ravel’s Habanera was one of the first pieces that Sharon played as a student that opened up her musical imagination; composers Bill Lovelady and Wolfgang Muthspiel are dear friends and long-term collaborators of Slava’s, Astor Piazzolla’s Café 1930 is the first piece we played together as a duo, and Edward Grigoryan’s Ngeringa was composed as a birthday present for Sharon.
That’s why this album is so special to us.”
Regarded as a ‘wizard’ of the guitar, Slava Grigoryan has forged a prolific reputation as a classical guitar virtuoso. Born in Kazakhstan, he immigrated with his family to Australia in 1981 and began studying the guitar with his violinist father Edward at the age of 6. By the time he was 17 he was signed to the Sony Classical Label. His relationship with Sony Classical, ABC Classic in Australia, ECM in Germany and his own label Which Way Music has led to the release of over 30 solo and collaborative albums – four of which have won ARIA Awards – spanning a vast range of musical genres.
Sharon Grigoryan has been the cellist with the Australian String Quartet since 2013, and has been invited to be Guest Principal Cellist with the Melbourne, Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. She is the current Artistic Director of the Barossa, Baroque and Beyond music festival, which recently completed its fifth year. In 2019 Sharon curated a chamber music series, Live at the Quartet Bar, for the Adelaide Festival Centre, and made her debut as a radio presenter on ABC Classic.
1. SUMMER arr. Slava Grigoryan Julie-O
2. ASSAD Jobiniana No. 4
3. LAGINHA arr. Slava Grigoryan Tanto Espaço
4. MUTHSPIEL Dark Silk
5. RAVEL arr. Slava Grigoryan Pièce en forme de Habanera
6. GRIGORYAN Ngeringa
7. PÄRT arr. Slava Grigoryan Spiegel im Spiegel
8. PIAZZOLLA Histoire du tango: II. Café 1930
9. LOVELADY The Brightest Stars Shine Half as Long
ZENAMON Reflexões No. 6
10. I. Fluido
11. II. Doloroso
12. III. Vivissimo
13. PIAZZOLLA arr. Slava Grigoryan Ave Maria
with Leonard Grigoryan guitar
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.
ABC Jazz is excited to announce the very first commercial release of a recording by Paul Cutlan's Coltrane Project, including a complete performance of John Coltrane's unfathomable masterpiece, Ascension. The Coltrane Project was formed by Paul Cutlan and John Mackey as a one-off tribute concert in 1997 to mark the 30th anniversary of Coltrane's death. Gathering together some of Australia's finest improvisers, the popularity of the concept and the transformative energy of the ensemble has seen it regroup for a number of very special shows over the years, unique gatherings, never to be repeated, and never to be heard beyond those lucky few in the room - until now. This release chronicles the highpoint of the project, when the ensemble swelled to 10 people in order to perform Ascension, that gigantic opus of Coltrane’s late repertoire, at the Side On Café in Annandale, in Sydney's inner-west. "To me," says Cutlan, "Coltrane has always represented many things: an unreachably high standard of saxophone playing, the complexity and mystery of his harmonic and technical innovations, the inspiration of his untiring quest to always be better, to always be searching for greater spiritual and technical modes of expression, and an honest, human, universal quality which inspires my own efforts to discover what makes me unique and worthwhile as a musician." Recorded for Radio National's Live on Stage program, this concert featured two sets: the first featured a sextet of Adam Ponting (piano), Steve Elphick and Steve Arié (basses), Toby Hall (drums), Andrew Robson (alto sax) and Paul Cutlan on tenor sax, bass clarinet and E-flat clarinet, performing both Coltrane compositions and originals by members of the project inspired by Coltrane’s output. This gig began with Cutlan's own Blue Step, a piece in the style of Coltrane Plays the Blues, fused with a progression from his iconic Giant Steps. Equinox follows in a minor key with a slower, moodier blues: it gives the two basses plenty of space to interact, blending with bass clarinet. Then the key shifts up a semitone, unleashing a searing alto sax solo from Andrew Robson, before sinking back to the depths. Naima is John Coltrane’s best known and loved ballad, written for his first wife. In this version, the bass clarinet and two basses once again create a dark, velvety texture, before a sublime piano solo from Adam Ponting. Kaleidoscope is a quirky, Calypso melody built on the harmonic progression to Giant Steps, written by Tony Gorman. Alto sax and piccolo clarinet duet before trading choruses, then the two basses also trade choruses. Then came the second set - Ascension itself: a massive piece of intense expression, in which the players collectively create walls of sound. Each performer is featured in turn against this visceral environment, galvanised to transcend themselves in sound. For this set, the sextet is joined by Sandy Evans (tenor sax), Mathew Clare (alto sax), Phillip Slater (trumpet) and Jeremy Borthwick (trombone) - an incredible lineup featuring some of the most creative and accomplished jazz performers in Sydney. "Among the inspiring line up of players on this performance," says Cutlan, "I want to make special mention of alto saxophonist Mathew Clare. This special musician died tragically young and isn’t documented on many recordings. I’m thrilled that audiences will now be able to hear Mathew’s highly emotive solo on Ascension, starting at 16:30." "I’ve often wondered what to do with these recordings over the years, wanting to make them publicly available, but reticent to commit to producing an album or compilation. I think there are some incredible performances among all three recordings, but the original Coltrane albums are a daunting yardstick to be measured against. I’m really happy that this last ABC recording is finally being released - this seems to be the most appropriate way to share the accomplishments of a band which certainly developed an exciting and individual identity, as it came to grips with this awe-inspiring repertoire." Tracklisting: 1. Blue Step (Paul Cutlan) 2. Equinox (John Coltrane) 3. Naima (John Coltrane) 4. Kaleidoscope (Tony Gorman) 5. Ascension (John Coltrane) Paul Cutlan – tenor saxophone (1, 5), bass clarinet (2, 3), E-flat clarinet (4) Andrew Robson – alto saxophone Adam Ponting – piano Steve Elphick & Steve Arié – bass Toby Hall – drums Plus (track 5 only): Sandy Evans – tenor saxophone Matthew Clare – alto saxophone Phillip Slater – trumpet Jeremy Borthwick – trombone